It’s timely that we are speaking of death and loss over at Growing Up Last, because I had my own awful experience Sunday.

If you are sensitive to animal death, especially at my hands, stop reading here. It gets kind of graphic. 

On Sunday, we had our usual pool party. One of my sweet friends went down to the quail pen with her husband and noticed that one of the hens had a really hurt leg, and one bird was missing. I walked back down with her to assess the situation, and poor Quaily Bird was really messed up. I’m not sure what happened, as our pen is as secure as we can get it, but she had a really bad leg, and was clearly suffering. I know, living alongside so many animals, who we use for food, the time to “cull” or humanely dispatch a bird would come. Sunday was it. 

So, I picked her up, talked sweetly to her, got up some nerve, and wrang her neck. It was awful. I didn’t get it right the first time, but the second time did it. No one told me the head would come off, and it did. It popped right off. I am pretty sure I screamed. I would have eaten the bird, because I believe if you are going to kill an animal you should eat it, but her leg was pretty necrotic and I was scared to eat it, so I just neatly disposed of her while saying a prayer to thank her for her life.

I’m pretty traumatized. It was pretty awful. It was also very necessary, and I know I did the right thing by quickly and humanely ending her life. And now I know how, and if faced with it, I’ll be able to do it again. I am thankful to this first bird because now I know exactly how to do this perfectly if and when I need to. This is what I signed up for when I chose to have animals like this, the fun parts and the super yucky parts.